The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has announced the recertification of Tecumseh, Neb. (pop.1,663) in the state’s Leadership Certified Community Program (LCC). DED Business Development Consultant, Deb Eggleston, recognized city officials during a special presentation on Tuesday, September 6th.
Tecumseh earned recognition as Nebraska’s first-ever LCC community in 2011, when DED created the program to help smaller Nebraska communities adapt to ongoing changes and opportunities in economic development. Qualifying communities must demonstrate an understanding for and preparedness in strategic and community planning, as well as display readiness in technological development to help new and existing businesses grow. Certified communities earn designation in the program for five years and are required to update and maintain information and websites. Tecumseh earned recertification in August 2016.
“Our community is proud to be recognized for another five years as a Leadership Certified Community in the State of Nebraska,” said City Clerk Lisa Beethe. “City staff and community leaders will continue to work tirelessly for our citizens to maintain our LCC certification and be part of this outstanding program.”
Community leaders’ emphasis on developing infrastructure is at the forefront of the city’s continued economic progress. In 2016, Tecumseh completed phase one of a downtown revitalization project to remodel the courthouse square. A $416,000 water main project was funded through Community Development Block Grants earmarked for Downtown Revitalization and the city of Tecumseh. In addition, the community will receive $5 million in Transportation Enhancement funds from the Nebraska Department of Roads to replace additional infrastructure, restore brick streets and install historical lighting. The city will provide a 20% funding match for the projects in an effort to highlight the community’s unique downtown area.
“Becoming Nebraska’s first Leadership Certified Community has been a tremendous honor and asset in the revitalization of our historic, beautiful town,” said Tecumseh Mayor Bill Montz, Sr. “Using city and transportation enhancement funds will be an important step to preserve our history, recruit businesses and increase our population to keep Tecumseh on the map.”
A $520,000 paving project is also underway to reduce dust and improve city streets surrounding the Tecumseh Poultry plant. In addition, economic development supporters kicked off a capital campaign to raise money for the construction of a new swimming pool. Following design and engineering efforts in 2016, project supporters estimate a potential groundbreaking in August 2018 and project completion by May 2019.
The city continues its efforts to develop a regional economic development plan with Southeast Nebraska Partners for Progress, which encourages economic partnerships between Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee and Richardson counties. Current collaboration between Tecumseh and the group consists of efforts to enhance growth in entrepreneurship, manufacturing, tourism and workforce education, with assistance from the Stronger Economies Together program sponsored by U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and University of Nebraska Extension.
“Tecumseh continues to be proactive in preparing for future needs of our community,” Beeth said. “By planning and budgeting for necessary improvements, leaders are working hard to take action to implement productive economic strategies.”
DED Business Development Consultant and LCC program leader, Kelly Gewecke, says Tecumseh’s recertification signifies an important milestone. The program has certified 15 Nebraska communities since 2011.
“Five years after Tecumseh became our state’s original LCC-qualifying community, it still represents a wonderful example for economic progress for cities and villages across Nebraska,” Geweke said. “By utilizing the LCC program as a platform for potential development, community leaders can encourage growth and innovation for years to come.”
For information about the Leadership Certified Community Program,
contact Kelly Gewecke at firstname.lastname@example.org , 308-627-3151, or visit